Ace of Swords, Master of All Situations

In the Pit thread on the Rhode Island concert fire, our friend Ace of Swords is kind enough explain how he would have he would have been more effective than the 96 people who died were he trapped in the fire. With his super-sharp powers of perception, he would have observed the potential risks, and at the first sparks would have exited promptly, calmly and safely at the nearest exit. The mere three minutes between the initial pyrotechnics and the venue’s being engulfed in flames would have been plenty of time for our man of action.

Contrast his amazing situational awareness and reaction time with that of the “hapless weak rock fans” that were actually at the concert:

Ace further has the fortitude to demand that others adhere to his high standards of perceptiveness and decisive action. He holds no sympathy for who have not honed their skills to his level, and were unable to escape within the three minute window. Rather, his concern extends to those who do not have the resources to achieve his level. As he puts it in his post:

Lest you think that Ace would wilt under challenge from those lesser mortals who doubt that he would have the foresight to deal with whatever might come up, in a later post he assures us that:

Although he does allocate blame to the club and management, he carefully advises us on the faults of the concertgoers, so we may avoid their mistakes:

Ace, with your superior skills in assessing danger and amazing reaction speed, along with your sympathy for those who don’t share your advantages, it sure was a shame that you weren’t among those caught in the burning nightclub.

Much as I hate to defend Ace, these people were at a Great White concert, which is pretty weak rock.

Who the fuck even let them even use fireworks?
That’s judt stupidity.

That’s our boy. The name may change, but the nonsense stays the same.

Nice rant, but I think a better thread title would have been Ace of Swords, Jack of All Trades.

I’m no great fan of Ace, but he/she called it on this one. It was pretty obvious that the ceiling was catching on fire, but people were still busily rocking-out to Great White.

My God, to buy it at a frigging Great White concert…

No one.

Fuckin’ morons.

We are talking about a rock show. People are used to seeing flashy stuff along with deafening volume.

Here’s what I think. The people saw the flames, but didn’t really believe what they were seeing. To tell you the truth, I didn’t believe it either when I saw the video. Not possessing Ace’s inteligence and foresight, it would have taken me a minute to fully realize what the fuck was happening. By that time, it may have already been too late. This situation went critical in less time.

I have question. Does anyone know the layout of the place? Whas it a straight line from the stage to the front doors? Or was there a hallway to a bar before the doors? Were there bar patrons who couldn’t see the stage who may have slowed the exits? (There are lots of clubs with a seperate bar area away from the stage).

You may be right, but if I had started typing that I’m not sure I could have made my fingers continue typing “of All Trades” after starting the thread “Ace of Swords, Jack . . .”

I know, of all the ignominous ways to go.

As someone who has been in a quite similiar situation once (it taught me that you start to run when you see the smoke, not wait for the flames) I can tell you that its absolutely stunning how fast a fire sets a whole building aflame. Back then we only where a dozen people that sat in a bar close to the exit and all made it out in time, but the whole building was aflame in less than ten minues from when the first white smoke appeared.

Keep in mind that when you’re in a crowd, too, quite often it doesn’t matter what you want - you may see the exit off to the left but if the other 80 people between you and it are hell bent going in the other direction, you’ll not be able to change direction.

Billdo, I’m very sorry to say I have not changed my opinion on this an atom. And I’m not even sure what you’re complaining about, really. Could you clarify if you are:

A) Unhappy that I discussed a lack of common sense in the victims in a Pit Thread labeled “Where was the common sense?”

B) Did not display an abject level of mourning to the hapless victims who were harmed by the club and bands fatal incompetence AND their own less-than-perfect common sense?

Look, nobody wants to see anyone burned to a crisp, but if we’re going to discuss the common sense ramifications and certain aspects of that discussion are going to upset you or other family members, please let me know ahead of time, ok?

That’d be a big help.

As for my “super-sharp powers of perception,” I rather obviously claimed the opposite: “Nobody had a gun to anyone’s head that I saw, and from the video footage, the establishment was dangerously overcrowded to the point that I would have left already, and I ain’t got all that much common sense.”

Lest you think I was talking out my ass, I asked sundry family members (those who’ve seen the video) what they would have done in this situation. So far, they all would have left at the first sign of overcrowding. Wow, they must all have supernatural powers of common sense, huh?

No, wait. Common sense is just that – common, normal. I consider the minimum standard of common sense is having a frim grasp of the inherent and assumed risks of voluntary action, and refusing to cede responsibility for my life to anyone or any establishment whenever humanly possible.

In other words, you can swear up and down that the concert promoter is a responsible one, like Mr. Spooje that you’ve ingested too many drugs to be responsible for your actions, but at the end of the day you are responsible for the reasonable outcome of the actions you take. I know, I know, absurd.

One reasonable expectation is: “Damn this place is overcrowded,” and also “Pretty fire in enclosed space = get the fuck out,” even, (as I’ll say it again as you soft-pedaled it) as the promoter and band retain a massive fucking legal responsibility for erecting a tinderbox, coating it with accelerants, and violating a bajillion fire safety codes as well as, hey, common-sense again.

I feel like I’ve said this before. Hey, I have, what’d you know: Flammable shit + overcrowded tiny death box + not knowing the exits + broken-ass safety codes + any kind of fire = massive fucking conflagration. Once again, I am saying the second of those four items was addressable by every participant to judge, and the participants were slow to respond to the fifth item. The rest are in greater or lesser parts the responsibility of the club, promoters and band.

Oh, and since I’ve addressed the content of your rant, an aside about the style. Who wishes for the death by burning of those people they disagree with over common-sense allocation? Do you attempt to disembowel your overnight guests who forget to put the cap back on the toothpaste? I’d be more hurt, but for the dry and dessicated “Vulcan Hatred” style.

P.S. Some responses for the other posters later – Kinko’s ain’t cheap.

He/she? Not even a guess? Tell ya what: If you find someone of the female persuasion who’s into politics and is as bomb-droppingly honest, do send her my way? There may even be a gallon of oil in it for you. :slight_smile:

Oh, it gets worse than that – suppose your last moments on this earth were you captured for eternity – boogying out to “Once Bitten Twice Shy,” as billowing flames and smoke obscure the stage?


Bubba Ray: It’s the smell of smoke that travels the fastest in a closed space – If I even smell smoke that I’m not convinced is composed of harmless tobacco products, I start edging my way towards the exits. Though I’m sure mentioning this common-sense approach will result in my damnation and burning in Billdo’s canola oil. :rolleyes:

Now, turning back to Spooje, who spake thusly:

At arenas. Without ceilings. Did this seem like that kind of place to you? Does going to a rock show mean you turn your brain off to the ramifications of normal physics?

Could you have realised that the place was dangerously overcrowded, or what that have taken a full hour to worm its way through your unconcerned brain? Things like “fire on ceiling” and “I smell smoke,” you possess such limited intelligence and foresight that it would take you a minute to process what the hell you should do?

Man, you are unprepared for just about everything. Do your family a favor, and start considering what you would do in any conceivable emergency.

Here’s a hint: It doesn’t involve any goddamn duct tape or plastic sheeting.

It stills seems a bit insensitive. And naive – you can’t truly say what you would do under such dire and panic-filled circumstances without coming across as something of an ass. Besides, the damn place went up in minutes.

It’s good to be prepared; it’s stupid to positively assert you would naturally remain calm and collected in such a chaotic situation.

Well, it’s a defense mechanism. A lot of people think like Ace here is thinking- “that would never happen to me because…” And they think like that because the alternative- that their lives could veer dangerously out their control- is too scary to contemplate.

I’m really conflicted about this. It was a horrible, senseless tragedy and not funny at all – ninety-six people died. Yet all I can think of is Spinal Tap.

Ace of Swords, I’m not surprised that my “dry and dessicated ‘Vulcan Hatred’ style” OP has “not changed [your] opinion on this an atom.” In my view, the purpose of the BBQ Pit in the fight against ignorance is not angry shouting about someone who is acting like an ass, but rather accurate explication of why someone is acting like an ass. My intent was to describe, not to persuade. I’d sooner try to get a leopard to change its spots than try to get you to change your self-deluded opinion.

How wonderful it is for you that the rest of the Swords family shares you amazingly perceptive hindsight. In a cool and rational fashion, days afterward and states away, knowing that almost a third of the crowd died, you and your kinfolk can identify when the situation went from normal to dangerous. From that, you confidently state that, were you in the thick of it, you would have instantly seen the danger and immediately taken action that would protect you from the risk. Were your comments limited to this, I would say bully for you and let it go.

However, based on your own self-perceived abilities, you reach the bold conclusion that the rest of the crowd, the injured and dead, lacked common sense. That’s where I cry bullshit.

In this day and age, as a concert-goer it is a matter of common sense to believe that where an act in a venue open for public performances uses a special effect, it would do so in compliance with building and fire codes. Indeed it is quite uncommon – breathtakingly stupid in fact – for a band to use pyrotechnics in a situation where there is such a great risk of deadly fire. For the overwhelming majority of American audience members, their common sense tells them that where there is an explosion and smoke on stage, it is part of the act intended to amuse and amaze, and not cause to go rushing for the exits.

Perhaps you, Ace, have such a well-developed fear of fire and crowds that you would dash out of a concert hall at the first hint of a pyrotechnic effect. However, for the rest of us, we operate under the working assumption that theater owners will not let in more customers than is safe, and that entertainers will not set off explosives where it is manifestly unsafe. Although we each understand that there is some degree of regulatory non-compliance, we don’t all take it upon ourselves to spend all our time second guessing building inspectors and fireworks experts.

Indeed, it is the momentary feeling of risk that makes pyrotechnics effective effects. The fun of a roller coaster is the lurch in your stomach signaling the involuntary fear that you may be plummeting uncontrollably, even when you know intellectually that the coaster has been running safely for decades. Likewise, when there is an explosion on stage, your body gives you a quick kick based on your primal fear of fire before your brain can calm yourself down in the almost certain knowledge that it was a controlled stage trick. It is only in the rarest of circumstances where an effect on stage puts the audience in actual danger.

For an audience member to be able to instantly perceive when a controlled effect turns into an uncontrolled menace is simply asking quite a bit more than common sense. Although you, Ace of Swords may have this razor-keen awareness, for you to assert that 96 people died and countless more were injured because of a lack of common sense on each of their parts, at the very least shows that you have a deficiency in the understanding of common human reactions and more probably demonstrates that you are a callous asshole.

And at arenas. With ceilings. Witness any professional wrestling event. WWF/E’s Kane has large pillars of flame shooting out of the ringposts (whose heat can be felt in the second level). And sparklers quite similar to Great White’s are set of in great numbers high in the rafters. And the WWF’s DX (I beleive) had small pyro dealies shoot from somewhere in the rafters to the floor of the arena (presumably on cables, but I never could make them out).

And at stadiums. With ceilings. Witness full-sized fireworks inside venues such as the late Kingdome.

When I first saw fireworks in the Kingdome on TV, I said to myself, “Shit, indoor fireworks? Impressive.” It can be done safely. This, unfortunately, was not an example of such.

Ace, you are an asshole. And your “I’m so much more intelligent than these ignorant fucks who allowed themselves to die” attitude is bullshit.

You’re an armchair quarterback. It’s easy to make the right decisions in hindsight, from the safety of your living room. I, for one, do not believe you when you claim superiority.

What a fantastical argument. Bravo, sir, bravo! In one fell swoop you have recategorized 96 heretofore both unlucky and lacking-common-sense victims into deliberate risk seekers! How their parents will swoon to the newfound knowlege that each and every death was caused by the deliberate treading on the very edge of risk-taking that is crowded rooms full of indoor pyrotechnics! Mayhaps you should scurry off and write to the crying bar-owner’s lawyers with your newfound defense of participant-assumed risk!

My goodness, and here I thought that they were merely careless with their own lives, and you have them as frivilous thrill-seekers! Surely when the house became packed into the hundreds, yon thrill-seeker said to himself “Why, the risk of being crushed to death or trampled is goodly and indeed part of the fun of attending such an event!” And later, when the tyro pyro decided to make his surprise appearance, that same poor son thought “Ah, at last, a replica of a dangerous Rock Arena event, thus proving that they’ve still got it! Now where, o where, can I get one for my stereo system, without which the music is so much dross!”

Such temerity I have, to point out what I and others I’ve asked considered common sense, in a thread devoted to that same thing, apparently you possess the godlike technique of divining what makes someone “realistic” versus a “callous asshole.”

Hopefully, it doesn’t involve inspections.